NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Minimum wage in Illinois is increasing from $12 to $13 on Jan 1. The lingering question is what will this mean for consumers? Will menu or product prices go up to compensate for the wage increase?
Maria Alvarez is the owner of Cookies by Design in Normal. She currently has 11 employees and some are already making more than minimum wage. As she increases her employee’s wages she hopes to keep her prices the same.
“I just opened in October. So, I want to stay at the same prices that I have right now. I’m probably going to add more stuff,” she said.
Luke Rokos is the general manager at Pub II in Normal. He explained that while the cooks and security doormen make minimum wage that 40% of a server’s wage can be made up with tips.
“So, we have to make up the other 60% of it. So, yes their wages are a little bit lower. As long as they are making adequate money in tips we can maintain that 60%,” he said.
Rokos says since wages are going up across the board that the servers will see an increase in their base pay. However, with inflation and wages going up, Rokos has to decide if prices for menu items will increase.
“I kind of wanted to see how we were sitting after the first couple of months after wages go up to see if that’s necessary. My father always taught me to try to fight inflation as much as possible and keep prices low for the public,” said Rokos.
Illinois is one of 27 states increasing its minimum wage in 2023.